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Nokia N8 USB On-the-Go: A Handy Backup Tool

Nokia N8 USB On-the-go I’m always trying to find ways to travel lighter, especially with all my gadgets in tow. My current setup is bringing along my netbook for my daily obsessive-compulsive image back-up whenever I’m on a trip. I was ecstatic to learn that Nokia’s new flagship model, the Nokia N8, has the USB OTG (On-the-Go) capability, making the handset a useful portable drive as well. So I put the feature to the test to see if I can possibly leave my netbook on my upcoming travels.

Nokia N8 USB On-the-Go
Nokia N8 USB On-the-Go Field Test

I’m always trying to find ways to travel lighter, especially with all my gadgets in tow. My current setup is bringing along my netbook for my daily obsessive-compulsive image back-up whenever I’m on a trip. I was ecstatic to learn that Nokia’s new flagship model, the Nokia N8, has the USB OTG (On-the-Go) capability, making the handset a useful portable drive as well. So I put the feature to the test to see if I can possibly leave my netbook on my upcoming travels.

The Nokia N8 with the MicroUSB to USB Cable
The Nokia N8 with the MicroUSB to USB Cable

The Nokia USB OTG (On-The-Go) can connect to USB Flashdrives and devices via a MicroUSB-USB Cable. When the Nokia N8 reads the devices, it automatically opens up the File Manager where the connected device would show up. Users can easily copy, transfer or delete files from one device to another. The feature works but there are some caveats as well. I tried connecting the Nokia N8 on several devices to see if there are compatibility issues.

USB Flash Drive Connection
USB Flash Drive Connection

USB Flash/Pen/Thumb Drives. This works but USB Flashdrives that requires a driver to install (like the Imation 4gig Thumbdrive) on the device would not work. It would show an “Unsupported USB. Disconnect Device” error.

Directo Camera Connection with the Nokia N8
Directo Camera Connection with the Nokia N8

Memory Card Readers. This one worked easily well. Nokia N8 read the CF Card in the slot and transferred without a problem.

Camera to Phone. Using the Olympus PEN E-PL1 here, the Storage option showed up on the screen when I connected the device on the Nokia N8. The drive showed up in the file manager and was able to transfer some files.

Unsupported USB Device Error
Unsupported USB Device Error

Portable and Desktop Hard Drives. Trying both on 60gig, 180gig to 500Gig and 1 TB, the N8 could not read this. Probably it needs a software driver to read.

Phone to Phone. This was a surprising last test that came to mind after taking photos. I connected my Nokia N86 to the N8. I chose the Mass Storage option on the N86 and it showed up on the drives on the File Manager. Real cool.

Things to take note on the Nokia N8 USB OTG (On-the-go).

  • It doesn’t work on devices that need to install a software driver to read
  • Able to read memory card readers
  • Direct from Camera to Phone compatibility
  • Compatible device with mass storage must have its own power
  • Compatible with Phone to Phone USB connection (At least on tested Nokia Phones)

Transfer Speed is fairly average. Transferring around 1gig of JPG and RAW Image files took around 3-5minutes.

File Manager Options
File Manager Options

Verdict. I’m quite impressed with the USB OTG (On-the-go) feature of Nokia N8. There may be some limitations but it works where it matters for me, particularly the Memory Card Reader and Direct from Camera Transfer. The Nokia N8 already has a 16gig built-in hard drive separate from the Phone Memory and there’s an option to expand via a MicroSD slot that supports MicroSDHC cards with a capacity up to 32gig. With a combined 48gig capacity on a handphone, that’s one wicked back-up device on a small package. Now I may think of leaving my netbook on some trips since the Nokia N8 is as powerful as a mini computer as well.

By Ferdz

Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.

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